ARC Review Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch

Review Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch

Synopsis: It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
Rating: 3/5 stars
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Previous books:
My thoughts:

Dear book,

You started on the wrong foot from the very beginning when you chose to go with the magic chasm route. You see, as Meira herself pointed out countless times, the possibility of finding it when for centuries no one did is truly laughable. But somehow it was found during your first pages. Go figure.

From there on, your entire plot was centered on this back-and-forth idea that the magic chasm needs to stay shut, yet it should open. The only good thing that came out of that Order and keys mess was that we got to visit the rest of the kingdoms. Summer was a waste of pages, besides the introduction with Ceridwen, who was a bit too superior even for my tastes. Yakim was intriguing, but stuck-up nonetheless. And Ventralli was magical, but a touch too many of craziness, though I loved the romantic drama (kudos for the juiciness).
In terms of pace, you truly lack equilibrium. The first three quarters were filled with boredom-inducing blabbering and the continuous tiring dynamic between Meira and Theron. Gods, they don't know the meaning of the word "communication". And then when the shit hit the fan, it was all kinds of awesome but it was too late to make up for the previous dull atmosphere. Ah, well... At least you tried.

I have to say that I do not like your Queen Meira. The spunk, fierceness and snark of the heroine we were sold in your prequel pretty much disintegrated and left us with an indecisive and overwhelmed teenager set on the goal to save everyone. Well, next time you see her, please tell her to wake up from dreaming with her eyes wide open and focus for now on the fate of her fellow Winterians, because they're basically screwed. And I almost forgot: she transformed into quite the Sherlock Holmes with her treasure hunt going surprisingly smooth -- two keys found on the first go. Impressive, really.
*cocks eyebrow*
Also, I did not break under your pressure aka I did not change teams although you tried to sway me. I mean, when you pretty much implement a personality-swap for Theron and have chapters from Mather's POV, one can see where you're standing in this whole love triangle.
I'll grant that you might have changed my opinion about Mather for the better, but Theron proved to me in the end that his only flaws are naivety, idealism and a very good heart. I'm not going to be a Mather supporter all of a sudden just because Theron is too kind.
However, I realized that I won't be biting my nails over Meira's final romantic choice, because honestly? I don't particularly care about these characters anymore. Congratulations on this achievement.

The rest of your characters barely managed to keep me awake. William transformed into this petulant little thing, so at odds with the strong figure he'd been I almost wept. I did enjoy Conall and Garrigan though, but Nessa was so underdeveloped I shouldn't even mention her. Mather's Thaw reminded me of those cartoons called Titans and actually got some pity out of me because they think they're important. Sadly, that's false. But Allyson, for what it's worth, made me teary-eyed with one single appearance.

I really don't know what will happen next with your story, because this train-wreck is heading straight to an Allegiant-like finish line, a direction which I haven't yet made up my mind if I approve of or not. What's for sure is that your continuation will definitely have its own share of surprises (but I'm not so eager to get my hands on it as I did for you because I've been burnt one too many times).

So here we are. I'm sorry to say that you are deeply flawed and only your last quarter or so saved me from rating you with those nasty 2 stars. I'm sorry to see that you could've hit grandness, yet you settled for extremely ordinary. And I'm downright sorry that you suffered from the sequel syndrome when I wanted so much for you to succeed. But I think you should be sorry as well for ruining my overall giddiness and excitement at your potential.

One of your initially excited readers, now caught in a bitter state of disappointment
P.S.: Don't worry, I'll still buy you for your kickass cover once you come out in October.

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